Because officials used older data, the state missed a key cutoff, and funding dropped precipitously.
The formula – created by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration – gave extra funds in September of this year to the 10 states with the highest drug overdose death rates per capita. Rather than use overdose data from 2017, when Maine was ranked ninth in the nation, the agency used data from 2016, when Maine was ranked 11th.
“The need was only microscopically different between the 11th- and 10th-place states, and yet the funding we received was millions less. It makes no sense,” said Malory Shaughnessy, executive director of the Alliance for Addiction and Mental Health Services, Maine, a trade association of behavioral health nonprofits.
Shaughnessy said funding is greatly needed for treatment and support services, such as housing and peer support.